The MSSA is a museum of Modern and Contemporary Art with one of the most important collections in Latin America, counting more than 2,700 artworks —a growing number thanks to continuing donations of works by prominent contemporary artists.

Its origins date back to 1971 in Santiago de Chile, when a project arose to promote the donation of artworks from artistic circles in the Americas and Europe to the Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) Government in order to create a museum for the people of Chile. The conviction and support of President Salvador Allende were essential, whereby his understanding of the historical proportion of the project enabled the necessary institutional conditions for the development of this museological venture, which remains relevant today.

Chilean history and global ideological tensions have marked the different stages or historical periods of the museum, which has since its creation adopted three names:

Museo de la Solidaridad [Museum of Solidarity], 1971-1973: a period defined by the many donations of artworks from international artists in support of the creation of a museum for the people of Chile.

Museo Internacional de la Resistencia Salvador Allende (MIRSA) [International Museum Of The Resistance ‘Salvador Allende’]  1975 – 1990: it originated after the 1973 military Coup d’état in Chile, after which the original museum project was rebuilt in exile with the donations of artworks, as a gesture of support to the Resistance, from international artists and Chilean artists in exile.

Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA) [Museum of Solidarity Salvador Allende], 1991 – present: the museum adopted this name since democracy was restored in Chile and the museum was reinstated on Chilean soil. In this third stage, the museum directors have been Carmen Waugh (1991-2005), José Balmes (2005-2010), Ernesto Ottone (2010-2011) and Claudia Zaldívar, from april 2011 until today.

In the present day, all three collections belong to the Chilean State and are licensed for administration, preservation and display to the Arte y Solidaridad Foundation (FAS) —the legal entity representing the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende— by the Ministry of National Heritage. FAS is currently in the process of renewing the concession contracts for these collections, having already completed the ‘Solidaridad’ milestone, with ‘Resistencia’ and ‘MSSA’ (1991-2005) still in progress.

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